Surfing has evolved from the stigma of lazy beach bums frolicking around the beach all day since many amateur surfers want to learn how to become a pro surfer. Becoming a pro surfer takes a considerable amount of time, unlike some other sports. However, with dedication and know how, any amateur surfer can embark on a career as a pro surfer.
- Start Small Many current pro surfers, like Britain’s Sam Lamiroy, started surfing at a young age. That is not to say starting a surfer career at a later age is not possible, but starting later would require more practice. Catch as many waves as possible and keep a log book of good breaks, bad breaks, new tricks and any other relevant information.
- Standout There is stiff competition in the surf world, so aspiring pro surfers have to set themselves apart from the rest. One excellent way to gain experience and stand out from the crowd at local surf breaks is to travel. Pro surfers travel immensely, so staying ahead of the game and traveling as an amateur will help you gain experience and show potential sponsors you can handle the lifestyle of a pro surfer. If you are young, barter with your parents to travel to popular surf spots in places like South Africa, Morocco, Senegal, Hawaii, Indonesia and Mexico during spring break, summer or winter vacations. Tell them this is an investment in your career to help gain leverage over the competition. Be sure to take photographs and film videos to document your experiences in these locations.
- Enter Competitions Entering surf contests and local competitions is a must for any aspiring pro surfer. Winning competitive surfing awards provides greater publicity and increases the chances of securing a sponsor. Work up to entering the Association of Surfing Professional (ASP) Junior Pro events in your region. The Junior Pros are open to anyone twenty and under as long as the surfer does not turn 21 during the competition year. Competing in the Junior Pros can help earn rating points towards competing in other regions and competing in sponsored events, essentially jump starting a surfing career. As these competitions are won, keep awards and press clippings to create a press kit to market to potential sponsors.
- Network and Find a Sponsor Every surf company has money set aside solely for sponsoring surfers. Find a surf company you would like to represent and send them a copy of your press kit, including photographs and videos of you surfing along with your background and competition results. Sponsors fund surfers who will give them exposure, so develop networking skills and show sponsors what they could get in return for offering their support.